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Muddy Waters - Muddy "Mississippi" Waters Live [Legacy Edition] (2003)

24-01-2015, 18:53
Music | Blues

Muddy Waters - Muddy "Mississippi" Waters Live [Legacy Edition] (2003)

Artist: Muddy Waters
Title Of Album: Muddy "Mississippi" Waters Live [Legacy Edition]
Year Of Release: 2003
Label: Epic Legacy
Genre: Blues
Format: MP3, FhG
Quality: 320 kbps, 44.1 Khz
Total Time: 01:21:51
Total Size: 232 Mb
Covers: Included

Released in 1979, Mississippi Muddy Waters Live is a different sort of Muddy Waters record. By the time he recorded this, he was older, more experienced. After decades with the company, he’d left Chess and was recording for Blue Sky, a label he shared with Johnny and Edgar Winter. And he had just been awarded his first Grammy. His stage presence had been sharpened over the years, but he was still performing his well-known songs. I had to warm up to this record, and it is not my favorite Muddy Waters album by a long shot. But I can’t in anyway casually regard the opportunity of hearing Muddy Waters play.

The original release was seven tracks on one long-playing record. For this re-release, 12 extra tracks were added to fill out this offering into a double disc item. There’s not a bad track among them, but some of the material, like “Deep Down in Florida”, can sound a little too easy-going. Like Muddy honored a request from the producers and the young audience by 1978 didn’t know it was once a tremendously big deal for a black person just to go to the beach anywhere much less Florida, segregation existing in the sand and surf like everywhere else.

And Muddy, who never ever once had the same lead-in to a song, here onstage with Johnny Winter has two lead-ins exactly the same. Unfortunately, both of them placed one after another in a row because somebody (probably the producer) liked the big sound of that siren-like wail announcing a song. But one of those songs, a slow blues ("where the Soul is”, as Waters used to insist) is “Streamline Woman”. This is the one that proves Muddy Waters could still show anybody how it should really be done.

Imagine Muddy onstage with some of these players. Muddy, who had persevered for years and undeniably was one of the great blues guitarists, whose records inspired some of these very same guys onstage with him here to want to pick up a guitar in the first place; a man who had worked for years and was acknowledged as the greatest for years before he even got close enough to serious money to hear it existed. And young Johnny Winter, who had major labels competing for him for the privilege of selling his second album, what was recognized would be his monster solo album, receiving a cool million dollars just to sign on the dotted line before he so much as stepped in the studio or set down a note for it in the early ‘70s. I confess I felt like I was putting up with Winter onstage here trading licks with Muddy, and all his people, too, especially the ones I suspect are his noisy fans in the audience, the ones who yelled “hoo” or “yeah” just as a song was starting. They sound a little more out of it now than they did at the time, like they’re going to start shouting “boogie” at any minute. One particular guy in the audience, I recognized the sound of his boozy screech on three, four, five tracks: Loudmouth drunk dude, I have to tell you that you’re just ridiculous.

Nonetheless, there are some advantages to this record. On this recording the re-engineering yields crystal clear results and the ability to clearly hear some of Waters’s onstage vocal tricks is something to be treasured. The way he squeezes out a staggered long vocal line by pumping the air out of his lower abdomen like it’s a concertina. And finally, the art and craft of the master of prestidigitation is revealed. There’s no hint there’s a furry little creature hidden up the magician’s sleeve until the showman decides it’s time to pull it out of his hat to amaze the audience, and once the cat is out of the bag, the crowd is stunned into momentary silence.

Muddy’s proving he’s the man with the real magic here. He launches into an extended guitar solo on “Streamline Woman” that just sounds unbelievably nasty. Sliding and quivering, with a shrill nasally pitch, this raunchy long solo will make your facial muscles react—your eyes will squint, your lips will pull apart and expose your teeth, and your choppers will clench and snap. As the guitar crescendos to conclusion, the electric squeal sounds exactly like the screech of a naughty little cat in heat and the yowls of a tom flying through the air mid-pounce.

Muddy "Mississippi" Waters Live was one of the peaks of Muddy's career, near the end of his life. Recorded at concert featuring Johnny Winter & James Cotton at a club date with his band, this Grammy winning album showed the depth he'd developed since pioneering Chicago Blues in the 50's. A second CD unearths unreleased live tracks from the club shows that were originally recorded for the album. They feature Muddy's road band and reveal Muddy Waters, the legend and the man, more than any other recordings. The original recordings were lovingly produced by Johnny Winter.

Personnel: Muddy Waters (vocals, guitar, slide guitar); Johnny Winter, Bob Margolin, Luther "Guitar Jr." Johnson (guitar); Jerry Portnoy, James Cotton (harmonica); Pine Top Perkins (piano); Calvin Jones, Charles Calmese (bass); Willie "Big Eyes" Smith (drums).

CD 1:
01. Mannish Boy
02. She's Nineteen Years Old
03. Nine Below Zero
04. Streamline Woman
05. Howling Wolf
06. Baby Please Don't Go
07. Deep Down In Florida

CD 2: All tracks previously unissued
01. Medley: After Hours/Stormy Monday Blues
02. Trouble No More
03. Champagne & Reefer
04. Corrina, Corrina
05. Hoochie Coochie Man
06. She Moves Me
07. Kansas City
08. Pinetop's Boogie Woogie
09. Mad Love (I Want You To Love Me)
10. Everything's Gonna Be Alright
11. Got My Mojo Working
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